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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  July 1, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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here. >> absolutely right. walter isaacson thank you so much. fascinating conversation. sound creative and challenging conversation you're having out there in your ideas conference in aspen, colorado. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me sir. >> thanks for joining us "in the arena." enjoy your holiday weekend. piers morgan starts right now. one man knows more about broadway stardom than anybody on the planet and that man is here with me tonight. >> hi, piers, it's me. >> andrew lloyd webber is a musical genius with biggest shows in the past 30 years. everything from "phantom of the opera," "evita" and "cats". >> i came up with, after a while -- it's kind of a tango.
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♪ >> and the singer who is storming the charts, no not lady gaga, 11-year-old jackie evancho. ♪ >> this is pie"piers morgan tonight." if you've seen a musical in the past 30 years it was probably one of andrew lloyd webber's creations. he's a lord. the greatest accolade of all. lord lloyd webber. >> you try saying lord lloyd webber late at night. it trips up the best. i thought you did brilliantly. >> you just have been to the
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"spiderman" premier which has gotten so much criticism in the last few months. >> i'm not privy to it but the producers involved in it are many people who come from rock. and my guess is that the thinking behind it and it's not bad thinking at all my guess is that they really are thinking of this as a long term project for arenas, for rock places and, therefore, perhaps looking at this as a loss leader. i think they got in more of a tangle they thought. >> how are they dealing with it? they are used to unparalleled success in the rock business. but by most people's argument is it's been a bit of a turkey for them which they are not used to. >> i was sitting behind them last night, practically next door and they were really very delighted. the reception of the audience was generally very good. >> from a musical perspective
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how did you rate it? >> i'm not a critic. there are a couple of really good songs in there. the thing about it is, is that writing for the theater is actually quite specific. and you can write really, really great song and it be in the wrong musical in the wrong place because musicals are really, really story driven. and, therefore, it's just a question of writing, you know, a really great song. you can't come up with yesterday or hard day's night and it being the wrong place opportune wrong show and expect the show to work. that's the thing. i come at everything because i always start with a story. sometimes i get the story wrong, it's the wrong story and then things don't work. but, when they do -- >> is the narrative key to longevity on these things? >> yes, i think it is. you get an odd one, something like "cats" which was a whole collection of poems by t. s. eliot. that was quite different.
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we stitched them together with a vague story that we discovered that his widow had that he wrote which was sort of, get the pun the cat's cradle. that's where we started with that. that's the exception that proves the role. say "jesus christ superstar" or "evita". they are strong stories. >> it opens and the criticism is heavy. everybody is saying this won't survive and gone on to be a huge hit. >> yes. i think, although "evita" was a big hit in london. "evita" when it opened here had pretty bad reviews. then the mood sort of changed. i think that's an intriguing one because in the kind of late '70s america was a little bit in denial about talking about anything political. you remember the time. after vietnam, after everything and i remember writing in the early days of the "evita" run we hit the -- same time of the russian invasion of afghanistan
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which nobody understood what was going on. i'm going off on a tangent. it changed -- suddenly people started to talk about politics again and said well maybe eva peron and what we were trying to say there was an interesting subject. >> how much did the critics get to you over the years? >> i didn't care very much if i don't think that the critics understand music. >> but somebody you respect, what's the most hurtful kind of thing that they would say that would get to you. >> somebody who i did respect as a musician said that the score was humdrum or something then i would be sad if i believed in the score. there are always going to be occasions where i think with musical theater and particularly what i do in musical theater it gets a little bit curious because i fit between two camps. clearly i would be the worst composer in history for "hair spray." i would be the worse composer
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for "book of mormon." on the other side i'm more operatic but not that serious. >> broadway is making a lot of money. what's that about? some people say it's link to the success of "glee" on television, revival of musicals to the young crowd. what is it? >> television and i've been involved with the television casting programs in britain. no question that does help. but the fundamental thing is that it doesn't matter who you are, what you are, that you do want to go out to some kind of live event and people like the idea. they can't sit in front of their computers and play games and twitter all the time. people actually do like the thought of going to a space where they hear the reaction of other people and they can hear -- you're part of a communal experience in the theater. >> how about many of your colleagues in the theater.
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you're not snobbish about talent shows. you've been a judge on shows. you've been a mentor on "american idol". can they produce bona fide stars? >> yes, they can. and the real thing which i found in britain, more difficult to do here, of course, because it's such a big country, people think it's odd why if i live in san francisco vote for a girl who might be going to the "wizard of oz" on broadway. kids were coming from background where they couldn't see me in an audition. >> you saw that on "american idol" when you mentored that as well. you would see these kids that come from nowhere. >> find that exciting. i came on "american idol" possibly in a way that other people hadn't at that time. i always try to get the best out of them. if you got somebody who is sitting there, you want to say to them think of the words. think what is it you're singing
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about. it's amazing what you can get out of people. >> when you watch a susan boyle what do you think about someone like her? >> susan boyle, we all know, it was an extraordinary moment not just in television but whatever happened to a musical. talk about something out of the blue for "les miserables." i'll be careful what i say because i know her a little bit. i know all the people who work around her and with her. she has got a really, really fabulous voice which has come from nowhere. never would have happened without television. i don't know that she would be able to sustain her role in a musical because that might just be keeping focused like that for a whole evening, doing eight shows a week is one thing. people who said it would never work. it certainly worked for the girl in "the wizard of oz."
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later in the show we have jackie evancho. she came in second on "america has talent." >> i heard a little bit about her. >> i watched her live. i was judging the show. obviously wasn't judging sarah. what was incredible. you saw a 10-year-old girl almost hold her own with sarah, which i just did not ever expect to see. >> i know sarah was very impressed with her. i'm a little bit worried about "britain's got talent." a girl sang a song with a dog. i wasn't sure about that. >> that's when you started to hang it up. >> this could be going a lult far. >> let's take a little break. i want to take you to that piano because i want you to weave a bit of your magic for me. take me down a little trip of memory lane. >> i'll try. ♪ and soft tacos?
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♪ >> back with my special guest
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andrew lloyd webber. that was the greatest musical of all time, "phantom of the opera." >> the microsoft successful. >> how many people have watched it over the years? >> i don't know. it's extraordinary. it has -- it still is, i think, the highest grossing entertainment of all time. of course it's apples and oranges. if you show something in cinema and people are paying a lot less money than in a theater. the "phantom," you're never going to get near again. >> people are fascinated by it. i am with you. how do these things come. you're a melodist at hart. how does a melody come to you. >> "phantom of opera" i'm a theater animal. so stories are the things that come to me. but the story of "phantom" happened in a very roundabout
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way. when i was about to get married, sarah was offered a joking version of the story of "phantom of the opera" when i was going to be done at stratford. she needed to go to london in new castle and she didn't think the idea was good. they were going to use real opera. it came on and it was exactly that, it was wrong. i saw it with cameron mcintosh the producer and we thought maybe be a fun thing for us to produce. we didn't get any more than that. we thought we know the director who directed "the rocky horror show." it was the phantom -- >> so you have a concept. where does this music come from. >> to finish the story, he said no. cameron and i forgot it. nine months later i'm in new york and there's a book fair going on in fifth avenue and as
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a copy of "phantom on the opera" i bought it. it cost 20 cents. buy it. find the most confused story that ever happened but a love story. it ended up saying when the phantom whose body was exhumed there was a ring on his finger and christine di's ring. i thought oh, my god. so it started. i wanted to write a high romance. >> physically, what do you do? you sit at a piano and you get this idea. how do you come up. >> the "phantom," the phrase -- i thought as a dark rock song. wasn't specifically "the phantom of the opera". phrase da-da-da-da, i changed it in the end to da-da-da-da.
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these things evolve. but it's quite funny we're coming up to the 25th anniversary of "the phantom of the opera" and we're going to do a big concert to celebrate. i've been through the archive footage and everything and it's extraordinary how different how the first try out of the phantom we did to what ended up on stage. the songs were there but half of them went. >> tell me about "evita". that was another hit pap huge success on broadway and in london. we talked about how it didn't start. there's a great story "don't cry for me argentina." >> i was working on an extremely ill fated musical called "jeebs" which never saw the light of day. and there was the idea about "evita". what we have to do is find a melody that becomes her anthem and then turns on her. as she's dying and i saw that
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happen on stage. i saw judy garland once at the end of her career and she sang "over the rainbow" and it was a travesty. so i came up with, after a while -- ♪ it's kind of a tango. ♪ it started off in the show which was "don't cry for me argentina" that's how it began. three girls sang that early in the show. when it came out to the main moment when she comes out on the balcony, she came out to the words "it's only me returning" only the truth is i never left you. no it's not da-da-da-da, anyway that's not really a great title. so we tried, my crazy and wild days. all through my crazy and wild
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days the truth is i never left you. then we said why don't we call it "don't cry for me argentina." it's a great title. it doesn't mean that much. but for some reason the words and the title is such a good one that it just stuck and nobody ever asked that question. but for me. >> so it doesn't really matter then? >> of course it does. that's just a very, very one awful example. it's such a well known song that people don't think it could possibly have ever had gone another way. >> where do the melodies come from. you told me before you can literally be walking down to your village store at your place in spain and a melody would come to you. >> yes. i wish i could tell you why. sometimes you get a melody you work on and work on and work on and it doesn't come easily but you begin to think -- one of this is "tell me on sunday."
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i spent a long time on this one. ♪ trying different phrases. trying to take different directions. a song which was hugely successful song of mine but not so well known in america. but i had a very, very big head with a song "no matter what." i'll play it quickly or simply. ♪ that was the tune of that. ♪ statistically that's one of my biggest ever. ♪ i wrote that. i wrote it. what i was doing i was playing around the piano. >> can you literally get the whole thing in your head? >> sometimes it comes like that. what also happens you're sitting at a piano and going just playing around which i often do. i come up and say -- ♪ suddenly you go -- ♪
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>> do you feel -- >> i had been sometimes gone off, gone to the frigid and opened a glass of wine. what's that. i come back. >> you write it down. >> i do. as i'm getting older i now always take a little music pad with me. because in the old face if the tune was any good i would remember it. that happened with "jesus christ superstar". >> hold that note. when we come back i want to talk to you about the big musical that lifted you particularly here in america, ""jesus christ superstar"." ♪ >> that's the one. yeah but now i have nothing to eat sure you do. hey! you can have the pop tart! pillsbury toaster strudel. the one kids want to eat pitoi switched to a complete0, multivitamin with more. only one a day women's 50+ advantage has ginkgo for memory and concentration, plus support for bone and breast health.
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♪ jesus christ superstar ♪ do you think you are what they say you are ♪ ♪ jesus christ superstar ♪ do you think you are what they say you are ♪ . "jesus christ superstar" the music that propelled you into the strattosphere. very controversial at the time. of course this moment the musical is exploding and winning tonys. >> i don't know. maybe you can't, maybe some people these days you can't shock people. but we never wrote superstar to be in any way shocking. we wrote it because we wanted to write the story of the man.
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in fact, we really wanted to write a love triangle because the whole thing was, did jesus christ have god on his side. which bob dillon and i did. did jesus get betrayed. what's very thrilling for me is that this production up in canada. it's really the first time that i've seen the love triangle absolutely tackled broad side. >> you've created these amazing musicals. in '76 it's launched. even now people are doing new versions of them. >> it depends on the quality of the actors and performers. this one is very well acted. superstar nobody was interested in doing it in the theater when we started sponsorship we did it as a record. all we did move was the "dream coat." so we did another one.
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we thought we looked at that. one time "jesus christ superstar" was going to be ♪ samuel, samuel, this is the first book of samuel ♪ >> that true? >> yes. >> one song was "kansas morning." ♪ i long for kansas morning". >> her dreadful line. ♪ i see you now ♪ you're flying high ♪ kansas on my brain ♪ i'm trapped in maine >> which of all the musicals is your personal favorite of yours? >> oh, difficult one. i'm very fond of "sunset boulevard." >> that's my favorite. >> but it's in one sense one of
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the most complete ones i've done. "phantom of the opera" i'm very fond of. >> i love that moment when norman comes down the stairs. to me it's one of the most powerful of any musical i've seen. yeah. ♪ >> wonderful moment, it's a gift. when the guy says turning the lights on. the lights come together. that is a genuine over active moment. >> she was fantastic. >> wonderful thing. superb actress. the fact that she wouldn't really consider her self to be a great singer but it didn't matter because she -- he held the the agency like nobody else. >> michael jackson wanted to play the phantom. >> krayeah. he wanted to play the movie. i thought carefully about talking about this especially after his death. it sounded like i was jumping on
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the band wagon. it is true. he came to see it several times. he came to see it here in new york. >> did you speak to him about it seriously? >> yes. but the film was at that point so far away down the line, people in those days were very worried that a film if it was made would destroy the broadway or the west end show, everybody would go see the movie. it's been completely the other way around. if you make a movie it's a great help important the theater. >> he would have been incredible. >> i think he would. there's another person who really wanted to do it but he died. this was a long time ago. sammy davis jr. wanted to play the phantom. everybody was a little bit -- they were a bit frightened about it because i suppose he could have been taken the wrong way. but i did really want to do it. one of those funny things that
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you get categorized people. because i suppose he was a generation slightly before mine i always thought of him as a cabaret singer and i didn't think very much of him. i didn't know. lizza minnelli said you have to come and hear sammy davis jr. i heard one of the best performances and he ended up doing the music of the night. i'll never pre-judge anything. you can never tell. >> who of all the performers you had, if you could relive one moment live again that you've experienced of all these shows, all the opening nights and everything, which one sticks most in your memory? >> it's difficult, really. i suppose funny enough, "memory" on broadway was an extraordinary moment on the first night there.
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the big moment when he gets to touch me. ♪ the whole audience applauded. just adlos. >> what were you thinking. >> i did think that's fairly extraordinary. robert ran down the aisle and said andrew you've done it. that was a great moment. now people run the other way. >> you're irresistible to women. >> i think sarah brightman and i had a great rapport through music and that -- music says is a lot of things. there are a lot of people i think who should really love music but people who do, then you can talk a lot about it.
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there's a lot of artists. >> do women find musical genius sexy? >> i don't know. because i don't think i am one. i do know what you -- >> you're being modest. anyone that can conjure up these kinds of mellow disand become anthems around the world that's genius, isn't it? >> don't know. maybe that i have a good ear fortunes. >> who do you think is a musical genius who is alive today. >> today? well, i think i'm obsessed with melody. i prefer to say that i think, look at the last century, say richard rogers was a genius, gershwin was. anybody who can do -- ♪ -- for a cat. in exactly four bars which took me 2 1/2 hours to do.
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he's a genius. i think of the living composers who are around now. i really, really think mccartney. some of his melodies are just sublime. >> take another break. when we come back we'll talk about you don't have a computer, you don't drive a car, you don't have a mobile phone. >> i've had two. >> had you really. >> i'll tell you about it. >> everything has changed. place another one of your songs. >> what shall we have? let's think. ♪
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♪ ♪ ha-ha, ho-ho. ♪ that was from your new musical which is a revival of the musical "wizard of oz requests which wasn't yours. how do you decide what to choose to revive. how do you work out what you
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think will catch on for a morning audience. >> i've been doing these tv casting series back in britain. the trick is you have to find a character to cast the public knows. the role of dorothy is something that everybody knows. we started with that. interestingly with oz it's never work in the theater before. we looked at it very carefully. what people have been trying to do is stage the film whereas what you had to do was go back and rethink it. therefore we discovered no song for the wizard, no song for the wicked witch, no song for the good witch. i got permission from warner brothers that i could write some new songs. >> dream team. >> we're back together again. >> very exciting. >> it's been good fun. >> you can't live with each other or without each other. >> don't know. we're in constant touch. we were planning to do "jesus christ superstar".
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now that this production has happened at stratford. i can't do it without tim. tim is not interested in the production side of thing as i am. i love the theater. >> you love his words. he's a great fit. >> timmy is a great lyricist. >> there's talk about "evita" coming back. who will star in this? >> i've told ricky martin is playing che. i've not been involved with the production. it's a production in australia. i'm not being involved with it. i'm beginning to think it's up to the village i live in. >> you don't drive a car. right. you don't -- >> not any more. >> you don't have a mobile phone, cell phone.
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>> no. >> you don't use e-mail. >> no. i have scene an earn mail. i sent one e-mail in my life. >> saying what? >> i can't remember now exactly. said something. i bought this ipad. probably doesn't work. >> can you use the ipad? >> you want doesn't work. >> you don't know how to use these things. >> i've been to australia with thing. here. to los angeles. i've been all over the place. i've been to london, bristol you think it might work. doesn't connect up. >> could it be you that's the problem and not the ipad? >> no. it's this particular ipad. >> you also appear to send your daughter images, a tweet last week on twitter. >> choi. >> this -- >> this has to do with the ipad. it wasn't me. i dictated the tweet. >> you know the vocal coach who was on your program. an old friend of mine.
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i'm sitting in the studio is ridiculous tweet coming through. i just said only girls got anything better than sitting tweeting all day. very fond of her. she's a great vocal coach. >> she's amazing. she's worked with jackie and everybody. >> she's a key player. she worked on the album and got results out of singers that i've not heard from anybody else. >> if you were casting the all time dream musical, who would you want standing on that stage? >> elvis. >> who else? >> elvis would be great in a musical, wouldn't he. any musical. you know i would have loved to gone back in time and worked with somebody like mary martin who was a pro. >> sinatra? >> sinatra, he obviously -- he didn't do a stage musical. a lot of film musicals. i would have loved to worked with him. i think of all the people and
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i'm so lucky to have worked -- glenn close is very lard to follow. >> you've had many is your well moments and met everyone in the entertainment world. what's the most is your well pinch me moment you've experienced do you think for you personally? >> most surreal. i don't know. it's a difficult question to answer. >> were you in a hotel bar in los angeles, sinatra and dean martin. >> that was a little the range. it was about 3:00 in the morning. in the bar in peninsula in l.a. i came down to the bar. i was on british time and you know how you get when you're on british time you get a second wind. in the corner is frank sinatra. he says that's andrew lloyd webber over there. great privilege to meet frank sinatra. had a cocktail at the time. so i sat down and joined him and it was all fine.
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couple of drinks. suddenly he turns to the waiter and says bring me the grand piano. the grand piano was wheeled across the whole bar. i don't remember what i played. >> you played and he sang? >> i think so. >> what a moment. >> i think so. >> in the hotel bar of peninsula. there a. you and sinatra. >> i don't know how surreal it was. >> apparently you were so drunk neither of you remember. >> i blearily got through "i did it my way." >> you've certainly done it your way. good luck in all your adventures. coming up the singer who is tearing up the charts she's 11 years old, the incredible jackie evanc evancho. ♪
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i'm joe johnson in washington. seems like the taste of freedom has italian flavors. former imf chief dominique strauss-kahn left his new york city townhouse tonight just hours after a judge released him from house arrest. he then went to an italian restaurant on manhattan's upper east side. the sexual assault case against him is in jeopardy after prosecutors called the accuser's credibility into question but they haven't dropped the charges against him. libyan leader moammar gadhafi is warning nato of revenge attacks if it doesn't stop air attacks against the regime. in an audio message relayed to thousands of supporters, gadhafi advised opponents to withdraw and runaway otherwise promising to retaliate in hurp.
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maria shriver filed for divorce from schwarzenegger. shriver is seeking joint custody of the couple's two minor children after schwarzenegger admitted to faring a son with the couple's housekeeper. her filing does not refer to a pre-nuptial agreement. now back to "piers morgan tonight."
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that is one of the most extraordinary performances i've ever seen on ""america's got talent"." that was incredible moment in the young life of my next guest and pretty incredible moment for me to be honest, the moment when jackie evancho's career exploded. she was the runner up on the fifth season of "america's got talent". she has a new album, which is destined to be number one in the charts. jackie is here now with the legendary producer david foster. david welcome. jackie, how lovely to see you again. >> i can't believe i'm here again. i'm so happy to see you again. >> we had quite a little journey together. the extraordinary thing about you is you didn't even come to a normal audition show like most of the contestants. we did this extra show, a youtube show, send in your clips to you tube and the first time i saw you was a live "america's
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got talent" show in front of 15 million people and you were completely nerveless. you showed so much confidence. what were you actually feeling when you came out? >> i was actually feeling please do not mess up this is my big shot. you know, i really wanted to get it. >> where does that voice come from because you don't have voie of a normal -- how old are you now? >> i just turned 11. >> just turned 11 years old. 11-year-olds shouldn't sing like you. where do you think this voice comes from? >> i believe that it comes from god. and if not then just a musical family with great supporters and all. >> you have a lovely family and they're very protective of you. david,s you've worked with the greatest singers on earth. how does jackie rank, given her age do you think? >> you know, to say that she is at the top of the heap would be an understatement. and you're right. i've had the great luxury of working with a lot of singers from celine and streisand and
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whitney and madonna even. jackie, you said it, she's fearless. i'm an avid watcher of america's got talent. i got to watch it as a person, not musician. it electfied the whole country. it's amazing. the moment i remember most was when you sang a duet with sarah brighten and you held your own. she's one of your hero inches i know. i was amazing for you. it was for us because it was hard to tell who the professional singer was. you were so good that day. also you have a lovely giggle. you giggle a lot. you find all this quite funny, don't you? >> yeah, i do. >> who are your favorite singers? david's worked with them all. >> i have to say i've never really said this before because it's something that's abnormal to be -- for a 11-year-old to say. but i really do believe that barbara streisand is a really really great singer. and i'm really really happy i did a duet with her. but i also love lady gaga a lot.
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>> what about susan boyle? because she also came from a talent show "britain's got talent". i was there as well. >> you sang a duet with her as well. >> yes. >> normal children your age they go to school and do their homework. what's your life like? >> my life is kind of a back and forth thing. my parents do a great job with managing it. they have me performing a lot. and when -- they don't have me performing a lot. but when they have me perform, they make it fun. and when i'm done performing i go home and i kind of live a normal life which is great for me. >> and there are strict rules, too, about how late she can stay up. they're very good about that. >> in terms of her potential, you've got a 11-year-old girl selling albums. how far could she go? >> she could go either direction of pop or opera. she has a great understanding of
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both. if she wants to be the greatest female opera singer of our time, of this new generation, i think that's what she could be. i think she'll be that and then some. >> it's true. >> no pressure. >> yeah, no pressure. >> do you ever get nervous now or not? >> i get a lot more nervous -- i do get nervous. i get very nervous especially with the big one, the big performances. >> we couldn't be happier for you, jackie. it's an amazing thing. you've got a voice of an angel as we said in the show. and i'm very excited now because you're going to sing. david's going to play the piano. these are going to be tracks from your new album, is that right? >> ychlt. >> good luck. keep going. the better you get the better you make me look as a judge. lovely to see you, jackie. hey!
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you want that? you want a warm, super-delicious strawberry toaster strudel yeah but now i have nothing to eat sure you do. hey! you can have the pop tart! pillsbury toaster strudel. the one kids want to eat
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right now a special performance for this show. jackie evancho and david foster. jackie, what are you going to sing for me? >> i'm going to be singing a song called "angel". >> what else? a little angel singing "angel." ♪ spend all your time waiting for that second chance for a
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break that would make it okay ♪ ♪ there's always a reason to feel not good enough and it's hard at the end of the day ♪ ♪ i need some distraction, oh, beautiful release memories seep through my veins ♪ ♪ maybe i'll find some peace tonight ♪ ♪ in the arms of an angel far away far away from here, from this dark old hotel room and the
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emptiness that you feel ♪ ♪ you were pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie ♪ ♪ you're in the arms of the angel may you find some comfort here ♪ ♪ in the arms of an angel fly aw away from this dark cold hotel room and the endlessness that you fear ♪